Thursday’s Severe Weather Will Delay Start of TCDT Friday, Program FRR Complete

The day-long severe weather that had been hitting NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on Thursday is causing teams to move space shuttle Endeavour’s STS-134 mission launch dress rehearsal, known as the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT), later into Friday. Storms with strong wind, rain and lightning had been keeping teams off of Launch Pad 39A and delaying preparations for Friday’s practice countdown. The weather has now improved enough for personnel to begin working on the launch pad. The simulated launch time, T-0, which had been set for 11 a.m. EDT, now is targeted for 4 p.m. Managers will meet Friday morning to assess how TCTD preparations are progressing and make any adjustments if needed. TCDT provides astronauts and ground crews with an opportunity to participate in various simulated countdown activities, including a launch day rehearsal for crews inside the shuttle. Thursday’s severe weather also has prevented teams from conducting a thorough survey of Endeavour and the pad following Wednesday’s strong storm that passed through the region. No one was injured and initial assessments indicate there was only some minor foam insulation damage to Endeavour’s external fuel tank. No other obvious damage has been seen, but the team’s survey, which is expected to start Friday, will verify there is no additional damage. The U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron reports that during Wednesday’s storm the pad briefly saw sustained 57 mph wind (50 knots), with a peak gust of 90 mph (79 knots). Small hail was spotted near the pad, and there was a lightning strike about a half mile from the pad’s center. Again, there was no indication of damage from the strike, but that will be assessed by the teams during their pad walkdown. Also on Thursday the Space Shuttle Program held its Flight Readiness Review (FRR) meeting on the STS-134 mission. Following their detailed review, shuttle managers unanimously agreed to proceed to the agency FRR on April 8 and continue to target April 19 as Endeavour’s launch date to begin the 14-day flight to the International Space Station.

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Processing is underway for Globalstar’s second-generation satellites to be launched by Soyuz in May

The six Globalstar second-generation satellites to be orbited by Arianespace's next Soyuz mission from Baikonur Cosmodrome are well advanced in their preparations as activities continue for the liftoff during May. In a phased process, these 700-kg.-class spacecraft are proceeding through electrical and propulsion system checks, pressurization, fueling and weighing – readying them for integration on a conical-shaped dispenser that subsequently will be installed on the Soyuz launcher.

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Processing is underway for Globalstar’s second-generation satellites to be launched by Soyuz in May

The six Globalstar second-generation satellites to be orbited by Arianespace's next Soyuz mission from Baikonur Cosmodrome are well advanced in their preparations as activities continue for the liftoff during May. In a phased process, these 700-kg.-class spacecraft are proceeding through electrical and propulsion system checks, pressurization, fueling and weighing – readying them for integration on a conical-shaped dispenser that subsequently will be installed on the Soyuz launcher.

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Processing is underway for Globalstar’s second-generation satellites to be launched by Soyuz in May

The six Globalstar second-generation satellites to be orbited by Arianespace's next Soyuz mission from Baikonur Cosmodrome are well advanced in their preparations as activities continue for the liftoff during May. In a phased process, these 700-kg.-class spacecraft are proceeding through electrical and propulsion system checks, pressurization, fueling and weighing – readying them for integration on a conical-shaped dispenser that subsequently will be installed on the Soyuz launcher.

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Processing is underway for Globalstar’s second-generation satellites to be launched by Soyuz in May

The six Globalstar second-generation satellites to be orbited by Arianespace's next Soyuz mission from Baikonur Cosmodrome are well advanced in their preparations as activities continue for the liftoff during May. In a phased process, these 700-kg.-class spacecraft are proceeding through electrical and propulsion system checks, pressurization, fueling and weighing – readying them for integration on a conical-shaped dispenser that subsequently will be installed on the Soyuz launcher.

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Processing is underway for Globalstar’s second-generation satellites to be launched by Soyuz in May

The six Globalstar second-generation satellites to be orbited by Arianespace's next Soyuz mission from Baikonur Cosmodrome are well advanced in their preparations as activities continue for the liftoff during May. In a phased process, these 700-kg.-class spacecraft are proceeding through electrical and propulsion system checks, pressurization, fueling and weighing – readying them for integration on a conical-shaped dispenser that subsequently will be installed on the Soyuz launcher.

Click here to visit Original posting

Processing is underway for Globalstar’s second-generation satellites to be launched by Soyuz in May

The six Globalstar second-generation satellites to be orbited by Arianespace's next Soyuz mission from Baikonur Cosmodrome are well advanced in their preparations as activities continue for the liftoff during May. In a phased process, these 700-kg.-class spacecraft are proceeding through electrical and propulsion system checks, pressurization, fueling and weighing – readying them for integration on a conical-shaped dispenser that subsequently will be installed on the Soyuz launcher.

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Processing is underway for Globalstar’s second-generation satellites to be launched by Soyuz in May

The six Globalstar second-generation satellites to be orbited by Arianespace's next Soyuz mission from Baikonur Cosmodrome are well advanced in their preparations as activities continue for the liftoff during May. In a phased process, these 700-kg.-class spacecraft are proceeding through electrical and propulsion system checks, pressurization, fueling and weighing – readying them for integration on a conical-shaped dispenser that subsequently will be installed on the Soyuz launcher.

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Commentary: Too busy to work out?

So, how well are you meeting your New Year's resolutions? Are you still swearing off desserts at the base dining facilities so that your flight suit does not reach "maximum velcrocity?" Are you still leaving those extra bites of food on the plate after you already feel stuffed? Have you burned your "preferred customer" card that's going to get you that 10th candy bar free from your squadron snack bar? Most importantly, and really the point of this commentary, are you adhering to that five-day workout program you designed for yourself that offered an air-tight guarantee you'd have that "beach-appropriate body" by summer?
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Visit commemorates communications pioneer

Air Force Network Integration Center officials welcomed family and friends of Lt. Gen. Harold W. Grant here March 28 to learn more about the late general's legacy and see firsthand the building named in his honor.

General Grant is recognized as a communications pioneer who avidly worked to ensure Air Force operators had the best communications support possible. Throughout his more than 35-year Air Force career he held numerous communications and leadership positions, including first commander of the Air Force Communications Service, an early predecessor of AFNIC, from 1961-1962. Under his leadership, the command's more than 50,000 Airmen provided airways communications, air traffic control, much of the long-haul and some base-level communications.
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